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Popovich has ‘never’ seen an injury like Leonard’s

/ 02:21 PM November 25, 2017

San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard, left, is being helped by teammate Pau Gasol in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors on May 14, 2017. Leonard hurt his ankle after landing on the foot of Warriors’ Zaza Pachulia. AP

Almost a month into the new NBA season and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich still couldn’t wrap his head around the quadriceps tendinopathy injury that has been keeping his star swingman Kawhi Leonard out of the lineup.

In a report of ESPN, Popovich admitted that he “never” seen an injury like Leonard’s. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year has missed 17 games so far for the Spurs and doesn’t have a timetable for his return.

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“What’s really strange is that Tony has the same injury, but even worse. They had to go operate on his quad tendon and put it back together or whatever they did to it. So to have two guys, that’s pretty incredible. I had never seen it before those guys,” he said.

Leonard has not hit the court since Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against Golden State. He came to training camp before the season in the team’s injured list.

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The same ESPN report also cited that Leonard “needs to advance through a rehabilitation process that comprises several steps, including individual work followed by 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills, before he can get full clearance to return to the court,” something which the 26-year-old hasn’t gotten yet.

“I keep saying sooner rather than later. It’s kind of like being a politician. It’s all baloney, doesn’t mean anything,” said Popovich.

Luckily for the Spurs, Parker is doing a little better in his recovery from a ruptured left quadriceps tendon he suffered in the Western Conference semifinals series against the Houston Rockets and might be on his way to return “very soon.”

“For real, sooner than later. And I’m serious. I’m being honest,” the coach said of the French guard, who could suit up as early as late November.

San Antonio is currently tied for third in the Western Conference at 11-7, with its last game ending in a loss to New Orleans, 107-90, on Thursday (Manila time).

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TAGS: Gregg Popovich, Kawhi Leonard, NBA, San Antonio Spurs, Tony Parker
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